20 Really Stupid Indian Laws that’ll Leave You WTF!

Laws are required for any civilized society. However, every now and then, you come across a few laws that are really strange. Some Indian laws fall into this category.

Did you know that the Indian constitution is one of the longest written constitutions in the world? It has 448 articles, 12 schedules, 5 appendices and 98 amendments. As exciting as it sounds, there are several Indian laws that are seemingly inappropriate to our current societal norms. Let us take a look at them and see why these Indian laws are so strange.

1) Catch 22 situation for drug addicts

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The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act prohibits individuals from manufacturing, possessing or transporting drugs. There is no distinction between soft and hard drugs. In principle, the NDPS Act also aims to help addicts. The dilemma lies in seeking treatment. While an addict can seek immunity from prosecution (under Section 64A) when seeking treatment, he/she can only avail treatment if there is “proof of addiction”! What do occasional users do? Are they not eligible for treatment? Instead, they would be charged with criminal proceedings. See the dilemma?

2) Old enough to marry, but not to drink!

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Know your age limit: We have an age limit for every action. Understandably, it is outdated, at least when it comes to alcohol consumption. While some states have an age limit of 25 years, in a few states, drinking is banned. To top it, at 18 we are considered to be adults, old enough to marry but not to drink!

3) Unnatural sex – a much-debated topic

Section 377 is one of the most talked about laws that is still under debate. The law states that any kind of unnatural sexual act with any man, woman or animal is punishable by life imprisonment. Even though this stirred the entire nation, the law still holds good. In this day and age, seriously?

4) Adultery – biased towards women

Under Section 497, the entire concept of adultery is an offense. This law specifically has some major gender discrimination. The law states that a man who indulges in adultery is punishable while a woman has the freedom to do as she pleases. Where’s the equality here?

5) Home delivery for Alcohol

 

In Delhi, home delivery of alcoholic beverages is not allowed. But, as the ray of hope, you can order a beer and wine from supermarkets.

6) Obscene acts and words

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Public display of affection: As per the Section 294 of the IPC whoever acts obscene in public areas is punishable. The same goes for saying something obscene. However, the word obscene is not defined technically. So, how do we know what’s obscene?

7) Watching porn is legal; distributing it is not

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The Information Technology Act, 2000 states that online pornography is illegal. Selling obscene objects to minors is also illegal. Section 67 of the IT Act deals with “publishing obscene information in electronic form”. You can, however, access it in private – it is legal. Since the Indian law cannot ban the users from using the porn sites, it is interpreted to criminalize posting adult content on the internet. Convenient!

8) Clean teeth for motor vehicle inspectors in Andhra Pradesh

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Keep your teeth clean: As per the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, 1914, to become a motor vehicle inspector in Andhra Pradesh then your teeth need to be sparkling. Yes, you heard it right. In addition to freshly brushed teeth, they should not have flat feet, hammer toes or pigeon chests. Toothpaste anyone?

9) Found Rs. 11? Report it.

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According to the Indian Treasure-trove Act, 1878, any treasure found that exceeds the value of Rs. 10 must be reported. If you fail to do so, it is a punishable offense! Don’t pocket that lucky note you find on the road.

10) Kite flying is illegal

The Aircraft Act that was passed in 1934 states that flying a kite without police permission is a breach of law. The same goes for balloons. Are you kidding?

11) Drink water and use the restroom at any hotel

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Hotels shall serve you no matter its size. No hotel can deny you water or access to their restroom. Ah, this is a welcome law.

12) Adopt at 18!

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According to The Indian Majority Act, 1875, anyone who has turned 18 can adopt a child.

13) 2-child policy in Kerala

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The Kerala Government has imposed a rule: you cannot have more than 2 children per family; alternatively, government subsidies will only be applicable to the first two children.

14) Drum away in Delhi, Haryana

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Love playing the drums? The East Punjab Agricultural Pests, Diseases, and Noxious Weeds Act, 1949 allows citizens of Delhi to go drumming on the street when under threat from locusts. Apparently, the law was introduced to keep the locusts away. The law states that in Haryana if there is a locust infestation, citizens of the state can be summoned to beat drums. If you fail to comply, then you’d be doing something illegal.

15) Only 10 couples on a dance floor

As per the Prevention of Seditious Meetings Act, 1911, it is illegal for more than ten couples to dance together on the same floor. Are you breaking the law? What’s more, you need permission from the Commissioner of Police or the District Magistrate at least three days before the event.

16) Cull diseased horses and get compensated

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Spare the animals: Under the act of Glanders and Farcy Act of 1899, horses with diseases can be culled and also the owner will get a compensation for the same. Why only horses?

17) Private couriers not legal?

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Indian Post Office Act, 1898: This law states that only the Indian Postal Service can deliver letters to your postal address. Courier companies can, however, send letters by calling them “documents.”

18) Felling trees because a guest is ill

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Indian Sarais Act, 1887: Suppose you are on a vacation and start feeling ill, then under this act, the innkeepers are required to eliminate noxious vegetation in or near the hotel and all trees and branches of trees capable of affording to thieves a means of entering or leaving the premises. Imagine that!

19) Must a pilot have long legs?

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It doesn’t matter how great you are as a pilot. If your legs are not as long as 90 cm, you cannot join the Indian Air Force. Why do they need long legs, again?

20) Your land can be taken away anytime by the Government

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The Land Acquisition Act, 1894 is stiff in effect. In the name of public welfare, the Government can forcefully acquire your land under the pretext of constructing public buildings or general welfare. This much-abused law definitely needs to be changed.

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